I Once Was Lost…

Catherine - Westminster, Colorado
Entered on September 6, 2010
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in loss.

To open the door of discovery of myself, I had to lose my freedom, pride, sanity, and most of all I had to lose the seemingly most human will: the will to live.

People enter dark places every day, all over the world, and when I walked into a psychiatric hospital with week old sweats and oily hair–not wanting to live anymore, my dark place had just begun. Life, I learned (and am still learning) is not about what I have, will have, or am trying to gain, but is about the things that I can lose.

A few months after my treatment at the hospital had ended, I was sitting in a psychiatrist’s waiting room when I met a remarkable woman. As we started talking, I told her my beliefs, and without hesitation she told me, “sitting here looking at you, I know you are beautiful, don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.” I had only known her for twenty minutes, and without any preconceived notions, without the awkward “waiting room” chat, she told me something I could never tell myself.

This profound, random, and wonderfully happenstance conversation has changed my life from being deeply hollow to brimming with opportunity. Until that point I believed that I would never know happiness. I had accepted my disappointment of what I had to offer the world, and what it was able to give back. But in the tiniest millisecond of when she said the simplest, most eloquent word, “beautiful,” I knew that the world up until now had just been waiting for me to light a candle in my dark place and to reach for the balloon strings. My emptiness could float up–up to an equilibrium where I remembered what it was like to be lost in my own mind, while wanting, absolutely, without any doubts wanting to hang on to my peace, and find my beauty.

I never want to lose the woman in the waiting room, this is what keeps me breathing; I glide through the days now, but perhaps I will forget and lose her for awhile. Although, that is the strangely comforting thing about loss, I know can always find that something again if I just sit down and light a candle and find that it was hiding just beneath the surface.